Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Birthday Weekend!

Here are some new Marimokkori I found on my student's pencil bags. Unbelievable.

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
- Joseph Campbell

purikura from this weekend
Don’t worry Kyle, I just had the best birthday weekend ever! (well, as good as I could have without my American family and friends, I MISS YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!)

But holy god, my Japan Friends fulfilled. Friday day I worked at one of my favorite middle schools and all the kids were super nice and goofy. Afterwards I went hiking with Tasuku and Yusuke up a little mountain near my house I’d never climbed before, and from the top we drummed on found objects to the sunset. A hawk hovered high above the city, eye level with us, barely moving at all. watching. It was cool. really cool.

“This is a cherry blossom grove,” Tasuku pointed out. “Which reminds me...David, let’s do Flower Viewing (Hanami) together this year. And let's be sure to come here!” My last cherry blossom festival...im gonna be outside all week! (Tasuku is my beautiful friend with the great tattoos who built a secret bamboo hut in the mountains behind his house to meditate in.) We ran down the hillside like ninjas, took some purikura at the 24-hour purikura station, and then met Caleb at my house.

That evening I ate dinner at the new Yakitori restaurant with a few good friends, and then later that evening Becks came over. We talked, took purikura, he gave me my gift...It was very nice. (Becks is my beautiful friend who works at the vegetarian restaurant in Matsuyama who I really like but sometimes drives me crazy...)

Saturday I ate lunch with Matt and Tracy, beautiful friends, then went bowling with the other English Teachers in my area, everyone radiant. We went to the arcade, took more purikura, and then to Indian for dinner. Tasuku was our waiter. I had the new cauliflower potato curry,
which was amazing.

After dinner we went back to mine to meet Hachidai (friend i met through yasuchka, the butoh dancer), Shokichi(friend who researches Aids), and Yuuki(Genious Music teacher who can play every single instrument). Hachidai brought over cakes, creampuffs, and a huge bottle of really good sake! We drank that, felt really good, went to Karaoke, some Micheal Jackson, The Doors, and then went to The Planet for dancing to psychedelic trance music. Dancing was great exercise, fun, but strange—some of my students were there! They wished me a happy birthday and smoked their cigarettes. "Kids everywhere are the same."
Here is the new Yakitori (grilled chicken) restaurant. The architecture and atmosphere is very traditional Japanese brilliantly lanced with subtle avant guard tweeks, including crazy acid American Jazz. The owners asked me to make a five-disc jazz mix for them to play in the hoppin-boppin new restarant. I was honored, and am now filling the citizens of my town with Western Jazz masters like The Bad Plus, Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Belle Fleck and the Flecktones, Billie Holiday, Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau, The Cinematic Orchestra, Maria Schneider, and more...It's 6 hours of the best Jazz I could find. I miss live Jazz in Kansas City.

After the Dance club we floated to the 24hour Gusto (Denny’s), enjoyed some spinach and fries, then fell into bed at my house.

Sunday I awoke to my phone ringing. Eyes closed I buried my head into my family’s wonderful voices telling me to go back to sleep; a perfect way to wake up.

My sisters sent me a video of them singing happy birthday while playing with the babies...so cute! Exactly what I needed. Family is good like that.

Our group went to cooks café for bagel-sandwiches before visiting to the holy tree. Mediation, hiking, singing..this tree is so special! I want to paint it many more times...
We headed to dinner at my favorite cafeteria, and then relaxed at my house. A few more Japanese friends from out of town came over, which surprised me and made me very happy. Tricia brought her homemade cheesecake, she is an incredible artist, oreo crust, and then we went bathing together at the onsen. Naked time with friends is the best! I didn't get to sleep till late, but it all worked out ‘cause I didn't have to be at work until 9:00 the next morning!

I visited my mountain school with only 5 students and they made me a special vegetarian birthday lunch: beans and rice, miso stew, sesame spinach salad, grilled tofu, and cake.

27. Some people have told me that they feel this is going to be a good year. “Luminous,” one said. “filled with limitless illumination and peace,” said another. So far so good. Perhaps also the beginning fruition of my new years resolution, I have been meditating more, and have settled deeper into creating my spiritual tradition alongside my art. Revival. Working out more, and practicing dream yoga...Coincidentally Cody just sent me a great lecture by Lama Surya Das who was my dream yoga teacher. His short singing and meditation at the beginning of this video is as good as any “pointing out instruction” I’ve ever heard! Be sure to see him if you can in Kansas City...

"Awareness is the essence." However, amidst all this fresh positivity, the inconceivable Haiti Earthquake happens, my dear friend Josh just left Niihama to go home to Canada forever, and I got news from Yale that I didn’t get in. Another dream evaporates into emptiness.

Incredible dream-disappointment. And yet, I’m kind of relieved...I didn't really want to go there anyway, did I? So expensive...

Ok, Yes, I totally wanted Yale...It was my first choice! But you know my co-worker Ashley spotted the other story as quickly as anyone else...”David, you really want to go to Tulane!”

So true. Uhh, i want that so bad!!! But I wont put all my eggs in one basket (or as they say in Japan, I won’t count my tanuki skins before the hunt.)

“Expectations reduce joy in life.” is one of the Art of Living mantras, and is true enough. Another good truism to remember:
"All things must pass."

I remember Alicia’s experience applying to grad school: let down after let down, eventually leading her to California, falling in love and light. "It will all work out in extraordinary ways." Every life unfolds remarkably enfolded within a great mystery of universal being and becoming, everyone embedded in a multi-dementional matrix body of morphic fields interpenetrating vast systems of unfolding light and energy....
”One door closes and a window opens”....
”Every ending is a beginning”...
”Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”
I’ll try to remember that, Dalai Lama.

I have no knowledge of myself as I am, but merely as I appear to myself.
- Immanuel Kant
"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."
- Carl Jung
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
- Joseph Campbell
Or Given to us.
Thanks for the quote, Michael G!


Molly said...

Rejection is God's protection

Anonymous said...

love it! sounds like a wonderful weekend. sorry about yale... rejection has a way of working itself out... birthday xoxo! love!

Anonymous said...

Hey bro. Happy birthday to you.
Ive been 27th for 7months. I think I need some meditations. Ive been horribly busy on business for a while. I dont have enough free time. working, sleeping, working, sleeping.... I think I need the time to think about me and you and the world. You let me know the word "meditation". thank you so much and happy birthday again!!
Oh! and I met yoshi today! He had an event. He is talent. He is always stimulating me. I was awaked from something!

See you soon, and bunch of love!
From poor satoru

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May all beings be Free and in Love.

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